Course Title: Speaking Critically

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Speaking Critically

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

Course Coordinator: A/Prof. Dominic Redfern

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 2022

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 39.3.7

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities






Pre & Co requisites

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.

For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at:;ID=twx09y07zi1c    

Course Description

In this course, you will begin the practice of identifying thinkers and makers that define your creative practice through the development of an artist’s talk for presentation at a symposium. Artist’s talks are a skill required for the professional artist. Developing a well-defined, succinct and effective talk also serves as the first step towards establishing the language that will underpin your ADR (Appropriate Durable Record). To this end you will analyse the work of two to three artists by discussing their work in terms of a topic (WHAT do they do), a rationale (WHY is this significant), and a methodology (HOW it is materially and conceptually achieved). In the final component of your talk you will place a project of your own in the context of the artist’s work that you have presented, arguing for the critical relationship of your work to theirs.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Analyse and evaluate global, social, cultural, environmental and historical knowledge and contexts that may inform your art practice.
  • Research, analyse and synthesise information and select appropriate methods and resources within your art practice.
  • Produce and participate in discourse and scholarship that is globally informed, culturally and socially aware, ethical and respecting of difference and diversity.    


Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the salient elements of an art practice.
  2. Use plain language to describe art practices and projects.
  3. Plan, structure and deliver an oral presentation.
  4. Create effective media aids to support the oral presentation of your projects.
  5. Document your artwork effectively.

Overview of Learning Activities

There will be a series of guided sessions in which instruction in the pertinent technologies and instructive examples are provided. You will work with your supervisor to plan and refine your talk as well as attending the artist talk program and symposia offered throughout the semester.    

Overview of Learning Resources


Students are able to make use of the online and hardcopy ADRs that are archived from previous MFA graduates. These provide excellent examples of the articulation of artistic practice through creative research methodology.

Two seminar programs are presented in every year involving students from within the program as well as guests. The Post Graduate Researc Seminars are offered twice a year and the MA Public Space also runs seminars yearly. All of these events provide opportunities to see students give concise and focussed presentations on their creative research.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

The University Library has extensive resources for Art students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies []

The MFA has a very extensive searchable reading list, which is made available to all enrolled students.

Additional support for academic writing can be accessed through the RMIT’s Study & Learning Centre [].    

Overview of Assessment


You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

Assessment may include:

  • Preparation of media supporting your presentation 20%
  • Plain language abstract for your presentation 20%
  • Oral presentation with audio-visual support 20 minutes 40%
  • Engagement with oral critical discourse 20%

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.


A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: